Taylor v. Aidenker et al
MEMORANDUM - For the reasons set forth above, the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice. A separate order shall issue.Signed by Honorable Robert D. Mariani on 1/11/17. (jfg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
Civil No. 3:17-cv-1
DISTRICT JUDGE JAMES A. DENKER,
On January 3,2017, Plaintiff Aaron Taylor (UPlaintiff'), a former inmate housed at the
Dauphin County Prison, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,1 initiated this civil rights action
pursuant 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging his underlying criminal case. (Doc. 1). At the same
time he filed the complaint, Plaintiff Hied a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Doc. 2). An initial screening of the complaint has been conducted, and for the reasons set
forth below, the motion to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted, and the complaint will
Screening Provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act
The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No.1 04-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (April 26,
1996), authorizes a district court to review a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner is
In an effort to ascertain the custodial status of Plaintiff, the Court accessed the Vinelink online
inmate locator, which revealed that he is not in custody. Upon entering Plaintiff's offender identification
number, 75452, into online system, https://vinelink.com/#/search, his status was returned as: "out of
proceeding in forma pauperis or seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2),2 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 3 The Court is required to identify
cognizable claims and to sua sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(8), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
This initial screening is to be done as soon as practicable and need not await service of
process. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
In this civil rights action, Plaintiff challenges his underlying criminal proceedings from
the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff alleges that he was not
afforded a fair criminal trial, he did not receive a "payment determination hearing," he was
Section 1915(e)(2) of Title 28 of the United States Code provides:
(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that-
(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or
(8) the action or appeal -
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
Section 1915A(b) of Title 28 of the United States Code provides:
(b) On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of
the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
incarcerated without bail and without mental health treatment, the District Judge had "no
rights" to commit him, and his caseworker did not provide support during his incarceration.
(Id. at pp. 2-3).
For relief, Plaintiff seeks release from the Dauphin County Prison, release of his car
from the Pennsylvania State Police, and monetary relief. (Id. at p. 3).
When seeking to impose liability due to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or
immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, the appropriate remedy is a civil rights
action. See Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002). However, when a
prisoner challenges either the fact or duration of his confinement, the appropriate remedy is
a petition for writ of habeas corpus. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 45, 494 (1973); Tedford
v. Heptin g, 990 F.2d 745, 748 (3d Cir. 1993). "The underlying purpose of proceedings
under the 'Great Writ' of habeas corpus has traditionally been to 'inquire into the legality of
the detention, and the only judicial relief authorized was the discharge of the prisoner or his
admission to bail, and that only if his detention were found to be unlawful.!!' Leamer, 288
F.3d at 540 (quoting Powers of Congress and the Court Regarding the Availability and
Scope of Review, 114 Harv.L.Rev.1551, 1553(2001)).
Careful review of the complaint reveals that Plaintiff does not seek relief based on
the deprivation of certain rights and privileges. Rather, he seeks immediate release from
custody and challenges the legality of his incarceration. It is well-settled that prisoners
cannot use § 1983 to challenge the fact or duration of their confinement or to seek
immediate or speedier release. See Preiser, 411 U.S. 475. Because Plaintiff is seeking
immediate release from custody and challenging the legality of his incarceration, the
appropriate remedy is a petition for writ of habeas corpus. See Leamer, 288 F.3d at 540
(federal habeas corpus review is available where the deprivation of rights "impacts the fact
or length of detention"). Consequently, the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice to
any right Plaintiff may have to reassert his present claims in a properly filed habeas
petition.4 See Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81 (2005) (stating that inmates should use
habeas corpus when they seek to invalidate the duration of confinement directly or
For the reasons set forth above, the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice. A
separate order shall issue.
This Court expresses no opinion as to the ultimate success of any petition Plaintiff may file.
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